Death Angel called its 1990 disc for Geffen Act III. In hindsight, the Bay Area thrashers got it way wrong. The second act, which began with 2004’s Art of Dying and continues today, is one of the most reliable in heavy metal.

The Dream Calls for Blood is going to be, at least to my ears, hard to beat on the year end lists. Then again, the same was true for 2010’s Relentless Retribution.

Death Angel hold an interesting place in thrash metal history. The band originally arrived pretty fully-formed but its members were so young that there was, unfairly or not, somewhat of a curiosity factor as much as a genuine appreciation. That doesn’t take away what the band accomplished leading up to Act III but when the band came roaring back about a decade ago, it was easier to place it toward the top of the thrash echelon.

What makes this disc stand out from other latter-day efforts is simply the rage that exists in singer Mark Osegueda’s delivery. Man, does his anger come across as genuine. Take the standout “Succubus.” “Your sudden bursts of illogical bullshit/They make you look so vile/The fact the past is the one thing you cling to/You live a life of denial.” Would hate to be the person on the receiving end of that screed.

Other classic elements of the band’s sound (chanted vocals, for example) are devices that don’t get old when they are applied genuinely and enthusiastically. There are 10 tracks on this disc and not a dud among them. In fact, there’s not even an acoustic number — something of a Death Angel standby — among them. Jason Suecof has been at the helm of the last two discs and the continuity is important. In some ways The Dream Calls for Blood is like Testament’s Dark Roots of Earth in that it’s hard to pinpoint elements that make it great other than your ears telling you so. Aside from Osegueda’s standout performance, it’s evident that guitarist Rob Cavestany (the only other original member) has really focused on his riff writing. Take the break-neck “Empty.” There’s enough ideas here to make a few complete songs. His soloing has also improved with the same speed as the maturation of the band. The group is equally strong when slowing it down a hair, like on the closing “Territorial Instinct — Bloodlust.”

Forget the third act, Death Angel is still way too lethal in its second stage. It was announced today the band will tour with Children of Bodom. Anyone who saw Death Angel open for Testament and Anthrax knows headliners have their work cut out for them.